Migraine & Headache | MIGRELIEF

Migraine & Headache Category

Why Going to the Dentist May Help You Prevent Migraines

October 20th, 2019

 

Can you guess what’s the strongest muscle in the human body? Many muscles, including the tongue, the heart, and the gluteus maximus have been deemed the strongest muscles of the human body. But when it comes to sheer force there is one muscle that’s above all others: the masseter.

The masseter is a thick, flat muscle located in the cheeks, and it is part of what we call the “jaw muscles.” When the muscles of the jaw work together, they can close your back teeth (molars) with a force of up to 200 pounds and 95 pounds on the rest of your teeth. We use the jaw muscles every day to talk and chew.

But sometimes we clench our jaws involuntarily, exerting too much pressure in or around the face and temples. Bruxism is the abnormal and involuntary clenching or grinding of the teeth that may occur during the day or at night while we sleep. Your dentist may diagnose you with bruxism during a regular dental check-up based on changes on your teeth.

Bruxism symptoms

Signs and symptoms that you have bruxism include:

Chipped or flattened teeth
Tight or locked jaw
Tooth sensitivity
Loud grinding noises
Sore gums
Headaches or migraines
Facial pain
Earache
Jaw popping
Facial spasms

Bruxism and migraines

Migraines are a type of chronic neurologic disorder that causes intense, debilitating pain. Though the exact cause is not fully understood, experts know that migraines can be triggered by factors such as stress, the weather, loud noises, some types of foods, etc. During a migraine attack, a person might experience daily bouts of pain that last up to a week.

Bruxism, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), and toothaches have also been shown to trigger migraines in some individuals because they create tension around the head. In fact, a research study conducted in 2016 showed that migraine sufferers ground their teeth more – especially around the molar region – than those who didn’t suffer from migraines.

Treating bruxism

If you find yourself tensing your jaw, grinding your teeth, or you wake up with jaw pain, you might have bruxism or TMJ disorder. Untreated jaw disorders can wear down your teeth (attrition), aggravate migraines and cause tension headaches.

Fortunately, there are treatments available that can help prevent further tooth damage and ease the pressure off your jaw. Talk with your dentist to learn about the options available for bruxism and TMJ, including:

Mouthguards or splints: these are the best options if you are a night-time grinder because they keep the jaw in a rested position. Mouthguards can fit over your top or bottom teeth and their goal is to separate your top and bottom molars. Usually, your dentist will make an impression of your teeth and then mold the mouthguard accordingly so it can be as comfortable as possible when you use it.

Self-massage: use your fingers to massage your jaw in a circular or downwards motion applying constant, gentle pressure. Alternatively, with your mouth open, use your hand to gently push one side of your jaw. Hold it for 10 seconds and then repeat on the other side.

Medications: If your bruxism or TMJ is severe, your doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants to help ease tension off the area. Botox injections have also been shown to be effective at temporarily reducing clenching and alleviating jaw pain.

My Migraines Keep Coming Back – The Insanity of Medication Overuse Headaches (MOH)

October 19th, 2019

WHEN THE MEDICATION YOU TURN TO FOR HELP…  TURNS ON YOU

You’ve probably heard it all before.  At least 30 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from migraine headaches;  75% are women.

For those who have chronic migraines (pain 15 days a month or more), the pain can be so debilitating that just waiting for it to go away, is not an option.  So those sufferers resort to either over the counter pain medications like Excedrin Migraine or prescription medications like Imitrex, or Zomig (called Triptans).

These types of medications work to varying degrees depending upon the person.  But, even when they work, all is not rosey.  Many people become so dependent upon these types of drugs in an attempt to get some relief, that without realizing it, they start using them more and more.  In fact, they start over-using them.  You may recognize this scenario in your own life.   A migraine develops that won’t go away and one of these drugs is administered. The current migraine either goes away or decreases in intensity to the point where it is manageable but a day or two later, another migraine occurs:  “The Rebound Headache.”

Of course the question needs to be asked, “Why would a person who originally starts out using them say, once a week, get to a point where he or she is actually using them several times a week?

The answers to this question, though not obvious when you are desperate and in pain, are very simple. Either the migraines are occurring more frequently, the migraines are more painful, or the drug isn’t working as well as it originally did.

Either way, which ever answer fits your particular situation, the prognosis is not good. Your migraines keep coming back and you find yourself reaching for these drugs even more because your problem is now worse…NOT better.

The responsible, occasional use of these kinds of drugs is not an issue.  They are safe and effective when used sparingly and serve a definite purpose. However, when over-used, a whole other bunch of risks come into play.

Dr. Fred Sheftell, a well known headache doctor, is upset and concerned that these medications contain no warnings on their labels. He states “There’s nothing that I know of where any of these products say anything about the genesis of rebound headaches and chronic daily headache…I’d like to see that.”

The following is an excerpt from an article posted in ABC news 20/20. It highlights just how complicated and even dangerous this dependence upon these drugs can become when people feel they have no other options to deal with their migraine pain.

A Vicious Cycle –Excerpted from ABC News 20/20

“Here’s how experts think rebound starts. Normally, when you take a pain reliever for an occasional headache, the medicine turns off pain receptors in the brain. But in a person prone to headaches — especially migraine headaches — pain relievers taken more than two to three days a week on a regular basis can make the pain receptors more sensitive than usual.

Consequently, as soon as the medicine wears off, these hyper-sensitive receptors turn on to produce a new headache. That leads the headache sufferer to take more medicine, which, in turn, leads to more headaches — a truly vicious cycle. Before long, most rebound patients are taking headache medicine every single day.

This vicious cycle nearly killed Eric Peterson, a 26-year-old veterinary student. But what will shock you is how little medicine it took to get him in trouble. Peterson’s problems started in high school with migraine headaches that hit him a couple of times a week.

“I think I started with an ibuprofen type. I wasn’t finding a tremendous amount of relief with that. I tried Excedrin and found that controlled things nicely for me,” Peterson said.

Daily Habit Can Trigger Serious Health Problems

Initially, Peterson was able to manage his headaches by taking two Excedrin just two to three times a week, but that was enough to lead to rebound headaches. Soon, Eric was taking the pain relievers every day, which was very bad for both his head and his stomach.

Peterson’s health problems became painfully clear last summer at a Chicago Cubs game. “We were walking up the stands to find our seats and I became very dizzy and light-headed and nearly passed out,” he said.

Years of taking Excedrin had eaten away at Peterson’s stomach lining. He was sitting in the stands slowly bleeding to death. Just four hours later Eric wound up in a hospital emergency room. Doctors were able to save his life, but they told him he could no longer take over-the-counter pain killers.

This was frightening news for Peterson, who had become so reliant on the pain relievers. He was more concerned about how he was going to manage his headaches than he was about the damage to his stomach. “I didn’t know how I was going to cope from day to day without having to be able to take that medication,” he said.

Stop the Medicine, Stop the Pain?

Duane Soderquist, 25 years ago, was in a situation very similar to Peterson’s. Soderquist said, “I think I had seven free headache days in 10 years.”

It was Soderquist’s case that caught the attention of Dr. Joel Saper, a neurologist and founder of the Michigan Head-Pain Neurological Institute in Ann Arbor. A pioneer in the treatment of rebound headaches, Dr. Saper said it was Soderquist who first opened his eyes to the fact that over-the-counter medications could imprison a brain in rebound headaches.

  • Soderquist had seen 20 doctors for his excruciating daily headaches. At that time, no one realized that his headaches were a result of the hyper-sensitive pain receptors in his brain turned on by the handfuls of over-the-counter medication he was taking every single day. Soderquist said he was taking about 50 tablets a day.
  • Dr. Saper hospitalized Soderquist, taking him off the medication. “I thought I was gonna die for three days,” Soderquist said. But then an amazing thing happened. Once the medication had cleared from Soderquist’s system, his headaches stopped — for the first time in 10 years. Dr. Saper said, “That’s when I learned the power and the potency of the rebound effect and the need to take people off those medicines.”
  • Today, Soderquist is virtually headache-free and enormously grateful to Dr. Saper. “The day I left and went home after not having a headache — there at the hospital, the last day — it was just like somebody took a house off my back,” Soderquist said.
  • Nearly 90 percent of the patients at Dr. Saper’s headache clinic are diagnosed with rebound headaches and each one takes the same first step: Stop the medicine.
  • Eric Peterson was actually able to detox at home, but he admits it was brutal. “For probably about three days I just had intolerable headaches. … It was probably the most miserable three days of my life,” he said.
  • But the payoff was worth it!  Eric is finally free from daily rebound headaches and he’s managing his occasional migraines with preventive medications and newer treatments like biofeedback.

Can You Get Hooked?

  • So, do these cases mean you could get hooked on the over-the-counter pain medicines you’re taking? It’s important to remember that if you’re taking these medicines for other problems, like arthritis, it’s usually OK. Rebound headaches can be triggered by the overuse of a wide variety of over-the-counter and prescription medications.
  • But if you’re starting to take medicines more frequently for headaches be careful. Also remember that migraines are the kind of headache most likely to lead to rebound.
  • Dr. Saper said it’s most important that frequent headache sufferers consult a physician. “If you’re using this medication more than two or three days per week on a regular basis,” Dr. Saper said, “talk to your doctor about the possibility of rebound headache.”

The Caffeine Connection

It is infuriating to think that products like Excedrin Migraine contain caffeine.  It is well known that caffeine is addictive.  People trying to wean off caffeine go through major symptoms of drug withdrawal, including more headaches.   Dr. Alex Mauskop director of the New York Headache Clinic stated that “Getting off caffeine is one of the best things that migraine sufferers can do to reduce the frequency of their headaches.”

Yet this is much easier said than done and the makers of these products know it!

Signs of Rebound Headaches (Medication Overuse Headaches/Recurring Migraines

If any of the following signs apply to you, you are probably experiencing Rebound/Medication Overuse Headaches and have probably realized by now, that spending the rest of  your life taking pain medications is NOT the answer.

•You suffer from headaches daily or every other day.

•Your pain intensifies about three hours after your last dose of medication.

•Your pain medications don’t work as well as they used to.

•You take more medication, but your headaches are worse.

•You rely on more pills, and you take them more often.

•You take medication even for mild headaches, and you often try to ward off a headache by using a medication.

•You take pain relievers three to four days a week, and you average more than three tablets per day. (This depends on the kind of medication you’re taking, so you’ll need your doctor’s advice.)

•Your pain runs the gamut from mild to moderate to horrible. Usually, the pain is a dull ache that you feel on both sides of your forehead and, sometimes, on the top or back of your head.

•Your headaches occur much more frequently.

To get your life back, it may be time to stop the insanity, take yourself off auto-pilot, break the cycle of misery and opt for prevention.  It is clearly the most logical and safest approach.   When I created the MigreLief nutritional supplement for migraine suffers over twenty years ago,  it was my firm belief that  addressing migraines before they start, is preferable to spending a lifetime treating the symptoms and risking undesirable or even dangerous side-effects.

To the Best of Health,

Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.
Chief Scientific Officer, Akeso Health Sciences

Menstrual Migraines are More Severe, Last Longer and are More Resistant to Treatment

October 9th, 2019

MENSTRUAL MIGRAINES CAN BECOME CHRONIC MIGRAINES 

Menstrual migraines are fueled by the drop in estrogen levels just prior to menstruation. True “Menstrual Migraines” occur at the time of menstruation.  “Menstrually Related Migraines” occur throughout the menstrual cycle.  Menstrual migraines are now considered a separate disorder from other types of migraine.

Menstrual migraines are difficult to control.  Approximately 1 in 7 adults have migraines, but women are three times more likely to be affected than men and 60% to 70% report a menstrual relationship to their migraine attacks.  Menstrual related migraine attacks are often more severe, last significantly longer, and are more resistant to treatment than the usual non-menstrual migraine attacks.

Menstrual migraines that occur only monthly can progress into chronic migraines.  Researchers are discovering that migraines beget migraines, the more you have the more you will tend to get.

Menstrual Migraine Help

 

According to a study published in the medical journal, Cephalalgia:

  • > On average, a menstrual migraine lasted 23.4 hours vs 16.1 hours for non-menstrual migraines.
  • > Menstrual migraines cause more disability and inability to function in daily tasks than non-menstrual migraines
  • > Medications to treat the pain of migraines were 50% less effective when used to treat menstrual migraines.
  • > Even when the pain medication did work, the risk of the menstrual migraine reoccurring was much more likely.

The authors of the study concluded by saying – “Menstrual migraines may require a treatment approach different from that of non-menstrual migraines.”

Other literature indicates only 13.5% of sufferers are pain-free after 2 hours compared to 32.9% of non-menstrual migraine attacks.  This indicates that 86.5% of menstrual migraine sufferers and 67.1% of non-menstrual migraine sufferers do not achieve complete relief from debilitating migraine pain after 2 hours.

The “Terrible Twosome” of Hormonal Fluctuations and Insulin Resistance Can Wreak Havoc on a Woman’s Over-All Health and Cause Symptoms of PMS, PCOS and Menstrual Migraines

Insulin resistance is the body’s inability to respond well to insulin, which controls blood sugar levels and can lead to Type II diabetes, abdominal weight gain and migraines.  High insulin levels due to insulin resistance increase the production of the male hormone, testosterone. High testosterone levels cause symptoms such as body hair growth, acne, irregular periods and weight gain (all of these are PCOS symptoms).

There is a Direct Relationship between Hormones and Migraines

Headaches in women, particularly migraines, have been related to changes in the levels of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone before, during and after a woman’s menstrual cycle. Estrogen, progesterone and even testosterone levels can fluctuate significantly a few days before and after menstruation leading to migraines and causing symptoms of PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) and PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) such as:

PMS Symptoms:

  • » Menstrual migraines
  • » Anxiety
  • » Overeating
  • » Breast Swelling
  • » Weight Gain
  • » Bloating
  • » Irritability & Mood Swings|
  • » Abdominal and Pelvic Cramps
  • » Fatigue
  • » Headaches
  • » Changes in Libido
  • » Depression
  • » Insomnia
  • » Acne
  • » Hives

 

PCOS Symptoms:

  • » Hair loss: similar to male pattern baldness
  • » Obesity and inability to lose weight
  • » Acne

Menopause and Migraines

Migraine headaches can severely affect women undergoing the changes of menopause.  Statistics indicate that migraines in women tend to increase during the approach to menopause and during menopause; however, they tend to decrease or go away after menopause.  It is also known that some women who have never had migraines develop them as they enter the period before (pre and peri-menopause) and during menopause.

Nutritional Support for Women with Hormonal Migraines

Key nutritional supplements have been proven beneficial for migraines sufferers.  A great, drug free option for women suffering menstrual/hormonal migraines is Akeso Health Science’s MigreLief+M.

In addition to the 3 popular ‘Triple Therapy” ingredients in Original MigreLief,  MigreLief+M contains 5 additional ingredients that have been shown to not only balance blood sugar swings and the hormonal fluctuations that lead to menstrual migraines, but to also significantly decrease PMS and PCOS symptoms.

Ingredients: (2 caplest contain)

Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2, 400 mg/day)*

Puracol Feverfew (100 mg/day)*

Magnesium (citrate/oxide, 360mg/day)*

Chasteberry extract (175 mg/day)

L-Theanine (100 mg/day)

D-Biotin (15 mg/day)

Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (vitamin B-6, 100 mg/day)

Chromium Picolinate (1,000 mcg/day)

*Riboflavin, feverfew and magnesium are listed in the American Academy of Neurology’s Guidelines for Migraine Prevention (Detailed Ingredients Description)

Menstrual Migraine Supplement

MigreLief Making a Difference for Over 2 Decades

The “MigreLief Nutritional Regimen for Menstrual Migraine Sufferers” consists of taking MigreLief+M daily and fast-acting MigreLief-NOW “as-needed.”  Until MigreLief+M, no one product was available to address both hormonal and blood sugar fluctuation, migraines and other symptoms associated with a woman’s hormones or menstrual cycle.

If  unsure about  migraine triggers, keep a migraine diary/trigger tracker to determine the presence of menstrual migraines  and note occurrence in relation to menstrual cycle , severity, and response to usual  treatment.

MigreLief supplements have been changing the lives of migraine sufferers  for over 2 decades.  All MigreLief supplement were formulated by scientist Curt Hendrix .  Curt holds advanced degrees in chemistry and clinical nutrition, and has dedicated his life to the research and development of innovative natural medicines. Curt’s research in the field of neurological disorders has resulted in grants from the US government’s National Institutes of Health where he was the principal scientific investigator for studying natural compounds for Alzheimer’s disease.  Curt also holds many U.S. patents, including  leading-edge effective nutritional formulas for migraine sufferers.

To the Best of Health,

The MigreLief Team at Akeso Health Sciences

Learn more about MigreLief+M!

SAVE 20% at MigreLief.com on All MigreLief Supplement and All New “Sleep All Night” natural sleep aide.
PROMO CODE:  SAVE20

 

 

 

Healthy Sleep Habits to Avoid Migraines

October 6th, 2019

How many times have you gone to bed making a mental list of everything you had to do the next day: waking up at 6:00 am to make breakfast, taking the kids to school, attending back-to-back meetings at work, running back home to make it to your kid’s baseball game, etc., only to wake up with a pounding headache?

Morning migraines are more common than people realize. According to the National Sleep Foundation, almost fifty percent of all migraines occur between four and nine o’clock in the morning, ruining your day before it even starts. Time after time, researchers have found links between sleep and migraines, particularly lack of sleep as a frequent migraine trigger.

 

But improving your sleeping habits is not as easy as it sounds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in three adults doesn’t get enough sleep, and migraine sufferers are even more likely to experience sleep disturbances.

The problem with our sleeping habits, experts explain, is that we aren’t consistent with them. The vast majority of people either don’t have or don’t stick to a sleep routine. A lack of routine leaves individuals with an erratic sleep schedule that the body cannot adapt to. Fortunately, with a little planning and persistence that can change.

These are five easy steps that you can do to get a better night’s sleep and improve your morning migraines:

Limit Your Caffeine Consumption

Everybody knows that drinking coffee right before bed is a one-way ticket to a sleepless night. But did you know that drinking that 5:00 pm espresso might also be tampering with your sleeping schedule? Caffeine is a stimulant, which is a type of drug characterized by increased activity in the central nervous system and the brain.
caffeine and sleep
The short-term effects of caffeine are usually felt pretty quickly. Five to thirty minutes after drinking a cup of coffee or an energy drink, you’ll feel more energized and alert. But its long-term effects last longer, as caffeine’s half-life is about five hours.

The half-life of a substance is the time your body takes to reduce it to half of its original concentration. Since a regular 8 oz cup of brewed coffee can have up to 100 mg of caffeine, when you drink a cup at 5:00 pm you will still have around 50 mg of in your system by the time you go to bed. If you have trouble sleeping at night, limit yourself to no more than two cups of coffee per day and avoid drinking caffeinated beverages after 4:00 pm

Create the Perfect Sleep Environment

From the moment you climb inside your bed to the moment you wake up the next morning, you spend 9 to 10 hours inside your sleeping environment. That’s over 3,000 hours over the course of a year and nearly one-third of your entire life! So, if your bedroom is uncomfortable and messy, your sleep quality will decline.
Sleep Environment

If you want to get the best night’s sleep possible and improve your morning migraines, you must see your sleeping environment as a sanctuary. The concept of a sleeping environment can vary from person to person. While for many of us our bedroom is the place where we rest each night, people who travel frequently may spend more time sleeping on hotel beds than on their own bed.  But regardless of where you rest your head each night when you optimize that place for sleep, you lower your chances of waking up with a migraine. These are three essential factors to consider for improving your sleeping environment:

Lighting

Everybody has an internal clock, called a circadian rhythm, that manages their sleep/wake cycles. In humans, the circadian rhythm is controlled by a group of neurons located in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which is in constant communication with the eyes. Every day as the sun sets and it gets dark outside, the hypothalamus starts getting ready for sleep.

The problem is that artificial light can alter your circadian rhythm. Research has shown that taking your electronics to bed or sleeping with the TV on can signal your hypothalamus that is not bedtime yet. Avoid disrupting your internal clock by making sure your bedroom is as dark as possible when you are trying to doze off.

Temperature

How many times have you woken up in the middle of the night because you were either too hot or too cold? Temperature plays a fundamental role in your sleep patterns, with a cooler bedroom being preferred for optimal rest. Research suggests that the ideal temperature for sleep should be around 60 to 67 degrees, but remember to wear socks as cold feet tend to be very disruptive for sleep.

Noise

Any loud or sudden noises that jar you awake have negative effects on your sleeping patterns and increase your likelihood of waking up with a migraine. If you live near a busy street or in a noisy neighborhood, consider investing in a pair of high-quality earplugs or a white noise machine. Research shows that constant white noise can induce sleep and block out background sounds.

Consider a Natural Sleeping Aid

Some nights, no matter what we do, we just can’t sleep. But before you give up on the inevitability of waking up with a migraine, consider taking a natural supplement to help you reset your internal clock and ease you back to sleep. There are many research-backed, non-habit forming natural ingredients that can facilitate sleep including; valerian extract, melatonin, magnesium, zizyphus jujube extract and glycine.

Medical providers have known for over a century that there is an association between poor sleep and the frequency and intensity of migraine and other pain syndromes.  When it comes to sleep, small adjustments can lead to big rewards.  Sleep influences all aspects of life.  Establishing or reestablishing healthy sleep patterns will help control migraines as well as support overall health and longevity.

Learn more about sleep and the risk of chronic disease as well as natural options for promoting deep sleep.  Download Sleep/Insomnia White Paper.

7 Health Conditions Associated with Migraines

September 29th, 2019

There’s no question about it: migraines can be extremely painful and debilitating. But did you know that they can also affect your health? Migraines can impact the body in several different ways. From increasing the risk for cardiovascular problems to triggering digestive issues, these are seven conditions that are associated with migraines.

 

Coexisting Conditions vs. Comorbidity

When two conditions are found in the same person but the incidence is not greater than what is seen in the general population, these are referred to as coexisting conditions. For example, a patient may have migraine and asthma. There is no evidence suggesting that these two conditions exist in a single patient more frequently than these conditions exist in individual patients in the general population. In contrast, migraine and depression appear to be comorbid because they occur together more often than they occur in individual patients in the general population.

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stroke
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Epilepsy
  • Hypertension

These illnesses are now recognized as being common migraine comorbidities.

Insomnia

Migraines and insomnia have a two-way relationship; poor sleep can trigger migraines, and migraines definitely can keep you from getting a good night’s sleep. It is estimated that one in four people have insomnia. Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling asleep, waking out repeatedly throughout the night, and not having a restful sleep. People with insomnia tend to get less than six hours of sleep.

Scientists believe that one of the reasons why sleep deprivation is so closely related to migraines has to do with pain processing. A research study published recently in the Journal of Neuroscience looked at the relationship between sleep and pain.

Researchers measured the brain activity and pain thresholds of 25 participants during one night of sound sleep and one sleep-deprived night. Their results showed that participants’ pain threshold was significantly lower when they were sleep-deprived than when they had a restful sleep.  Migraine sufferers should pay close attention to their sleep habits and if that isn’t enough, consider nutritional supplements for extra support.  Melatonin, Vitamin B6, Magnesium, Glycine, Valerian Root, Zizyphus Jujube, and Hops are all well-known supplements for establishing healthy sleep patterns.

Stroke

A stroke happens when there is a sudden interruption in the blood flow to the brain, depriving it of the oxygen and nutrients that it needs to survive. When strokes are not caught in time, it can cause severe tissue damage and disability. Strokes are the fifth cause of death in the and the leading cause of disability in the United States.

There is not enough evidence to suggests that migraines cause strokes. However, several research studies have found connections between strokes and aura – the sensory symptoms that sometimes precede migraines. According to an investigation conducted by the American Stroke Association, individuals who have migraines with aura are 2.4 more likely to have a stroke than those without aura.

Epilepsy

Epilepsy, also called seizure disorder, is a neurological condition that causes seizures that originate in the brain. A person is typically diagnosed with epilepsy after they’ve had more than two unprovoked seizures.

Just like migraines, abnormal activities in the brain cause seizures. However, not everybody who suffers from migraines will necessarily develop seizures and vice versa. EEG scans have shown that the brain activity that during a migraine is similar to the activity that occurs during a seizure, but researchers are still trying to make sense of out that connection.

Heart Disease

Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, is an umbrella term for a cluster of conditions that affect the health of the heart. Some of the conditions that fall under the heart disease group include:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Arrhythmia
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Angina
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Heart infections

Heart disease and migraines do not have a comorbid relationship however, research suggests that migraines with aura increase the risk of developing heart disease, particularly within the first year of diagnosis. People with migraines also tend to have heart disease-related risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and an irregular heartbeat.

Anxiety & Depression

Anxiety and depression are the two most common mental health issues and are comorbid with migraine. In the United States, it is estimated that more than 18% of the population suffers from at least one type of anxiety, 6% from depression, and even more in the case of migraine sufferers.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, as many as 40% of people with migraines suffer from depression. Other mental health problems that are more prevalent among migraine sufferers are generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, bipolar disorder, agoraphobia, and substance abuse.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a gastrointestinal disorder that affects the large intestine (aka the colon). IBS causes abdominal cramping, constipation and/or diarrhea, gas, and bloating. Though the cause of IBS is not known, doctors believe that faulty communications between the gastrointestinal tract (GI) and the brain may play an important role.

It is a well-known fact that nausea, vomiting, and digestive issues are common symptoms of migraine attacks. In fact, there is a type of migraine without headaches, called abdominal migraine, which occurs mostly in children but is now being diagnosed more frequently in adults.  Now, recent studies have also discovered that people (especially women) who have IBS are more likely to suffer from migraines.

Fibromyalgia

Research studies show that there is a bidirectional relationship between migraines and fibromyalgia (FM). That means that in some cases, FM has been observed to trigger migraines and in others, migraines seem to provoke FM. It is estimated that between 45 and 80 percent of patients with FM suffer from chronic migraines and 18 to 35% of chronic migraine sufferers also suffer with fibromyalgia.  According to a recent study in published in the British Medical Journal, fibromyalgia had stronger predictive power for the onset of migraine than did migraine for the onset of fibromyalgia.

The Comorbidity and Coexisting Condition Challenge

If you’ve been diagnosed with a physical and/or mental health condition, keep good records of the care that you receive from various professionals, so that each can be aware of the various treatments you are receiving and various therapies you are using.  It is important  to avoid negative drug interactions.  Also, the treatments that benefit one condition may be detrimental for another.

If possible, prevent comorbid conditions from taking hold by addressing early symptoms as soon as possible.  For example, if social anxiety disorder is left untreated for a long time, it may lead to depression and substance abuse.   Don’t forget that good nutrition and  proper sleep goes a long way toward maintaining good health and longevity.

 

Avoid Back to School Migraines – A Guide for Parents & Students

September 1st, 2019

Back to school time can literally mean headaches for kids as they adjust from a relaxing summer vacation schedule to a more stringent daily routine. Everybody knows that going back to school can be stressful – different teachers, new friends, and a whole new set of responsibilities can overwhelm even the most confident of kids or teenagers. Parents should be aware that their children are at higher risk for developing headaches and migraines at the beginning of a new school year.  As high as 35% of kids can suffer from some type of reoccurring headache, and up to a quarter of those headaches can be migraines.  Emotional issues, stress, and sleep issues can cause migraines in these children. As the number of attacks increase, depression and sleep disorders can escalate.

Headaches can range from minor nuisances to extremely uncomfortable, and when they become chronic (constantly recurring), they can take a serious toll on a child’s ability to go about daily life. There are several types of headaches: cluster headaches, tension headaches, sinus headaches, and many more. However, one of the most common (and intense) types of headaches are migraines.

Children and Migraines


What Are Migraines?
A migraine is a severe neurological disorder most often accompanied by an extremely painful and debilitating headache, and other symptoms such as nausea and/or vomiting, sound and light sensitivity and at times visual disturbances (auras).

Migraines don’t just affect adults; some children start suffering from them as early as the age of two, and it is estimated that around 10% of all school-aged kids and teenagers get migraines periodically. Children’s migraines may be more bilateral such as pain across the forehead as opposed to unilateral, one side of the head.  The pain may be of shorter duration than an adult’s migraine and less frequent.

Children may also experience abdominal migraines, severe stomach pain without a headache which may or may not be accompanied by vomiting.  If you child experiences cyclic vomiting or stomach pain, ask your pediatrician about abdominal migraine.  Unfortunately, doctors and researchers are not completely sure of what causes migraine.  Migraines are thought to be hereditary.  A child with one parent who suffers with migraines has a 50% risk of developing them.  If both parents suffer with migraines, the risk increases to 75%.

What Are Migraine Triggers?
While on the surface migraines seem to come out of nowhere, most people can identify at least some of the factors that set off an attack. These factors are called triggers, and they vary from person to person. For some, triggers can be as specific as particular sounds or smells, while for others, their triggers can be extremely common daily events like stress or hormonal changes, and therefore are much harder to avoid.

Learning to identify triggers can significantly reduce both the amount and the severity of migraines as the new school year starts. According to the National Headache Foundation, the amount of migraine and headache-related visits to the emergency room by children between the ages of 5 and 18 increases every year around fall.

As you may have already guessed, stress is one of the main culprits of back to school migraines; children as young as five can feel anxious and overwhelmed about schedule changes, new extracurricular activities, and everything else that comes with the beginning of a new academic year. But stress is not the only factor that can set off migraines on school-aged children and young adults. Other common triggers include:

Sleep deprivation
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that children between the ages of four and 13 get 10 to 12 hours of sleep every night. A good night’s sleep is not only essential for growth and development; it also has been shown that sleep deprivation is one of the most common migraine triggers for both children and adults.

However, more than 90% of high-schoolers and nearly 80% of middle-schoolers start school before 8:30 am. It is also common that teens don’t fall asleep before 11:00 pm, making it harder to get the recommended amount of sleep each night. As if that wasn’t enough, during the first weeks of school, thanks to all the stress and excitement of the new academic year, kids and teens find it even harder to get enough sleep.

Skipping meals
Skipping or waiting too long between meals is also a big migraine trigger for school-aged children and young adults. During the first few weeks of school, as kids settle into their new schedules, it can be easy to skip breakfast or grab a quick snack for lunch, but this could mean bad news for migraine sufferers.

Skipping meals or waiting too long to ear, can cause blood sugar levels to drop too low. This is called hypoglycemia and it usually causes headaches even for people who don’t suffer from migraines. Migraine attacks and headaches caused by low blood sugar levels are usually more painful and can last longer than other attacks. They also tend to be accompanied by blurred vision, nausea, excessive yawning, sweating, and mood swings.

Screen time
It is important to monitor your children’s screen time to avoid migraines and headaches.  Most of us have suffered the consequences of spending too much time on the computer or staring at our phones; our eyes hurt, our neck becomes stiff, and almost inevitably a headache creeps in. Migraine attacks triggered by the computer or phone screen are becoming increasingly common now that we spend a good portion of our days on our electronic devices.

Prolonged screen time has been shown to trigger migraines for several reasons: first, fixating your eyes on a monitor for a long time requires effort from both your brain and your ocular muscles, both of which have to work quite hard to keep focused on the screen for an extended period of time.

Also, extremely bright screens can trigger migraines in people who are photosensitive (sensitive to bright lights). Aside from these factors, hunching over the computer, tablet or phone can lead to neck and back pain which can worsen migraines.

Dehydration
Did you know that healthcare professionals estimate that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated? There is a lot of controversy regarding how much water a person should drink; some sources recommend 8 glasses, others have said that the appropriate amount is between 11 and 15 cups, and others assure that drinking 2 to 3 cups of water every hour should be enough to keep you hydrated.

Remind your kids to stay well hydrated.  Ultimately, the amount of water people need is based on a variety of factors like their weight, activity level, whether it is hot or cold outside, etc. The best way to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle with you at all times and don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink – according to healthcare professionals, once thirst hits you are already dehydrated!

 

Other common migraine triggers for school-aged children and teens include:

  • Caffeine
  • Loud noises
  • Strong odors
  • Lunch meats
  • Chocolate
  • Salty foods
  • Alcohol and smoke
  • Stress
  • Some types of cheese
  • Food additives and chemicals (like MSG)
  • Teeth grinding
  • Weather changes

Managing Migraines at School
As you may have realized, some of the most common school-related migraine triggers can be hard to avoid. Since there is nothing you can do to control triggers like the temperature outside, puberty and hormonal changes, bright lights in the classroom, and loud noises, managing  migraines can become a frustrating task.

The good news is that other triggers like lack of sleep, stress, skipping meals, and dehydration can be prevented by making healthier choices. Here are five tips to keep migraines at bay during the school year.

1. Improve Sleep Hygiene
Even though according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), kids and teenagers could benefit from starting school later in the day both health and academic-wise, most children still have to wake up before 7:00 am to get to school on time. This means that getting enough sleep can be an extremely difficult – if not impossible task for some kids.

But if you suffer from migraines, maintaining good sleeping habits should be just as important as eating healthy or exercising. We recommend getting ready to sleep and practicing good sleep hygiene habits hours before you even go to bed to get the best quality sleep possible.

By limiting daytime naps as much as possible, making sure you don’t consume caffeine or foods that can disrupt sleep (particularly fatty, sugary or rich foods) too close to bedtime, and not bringing your cellphone or tablet to bed, you will be able fall asleep earlier and keep insomnia from triggering a migraine. For the first few weeks of school, try going to bed earlier than usual as that will help you get more sleep in and reduce the stress and anxiety that comes with the new school year.

2. Keep a Trigger Tracker
One of the worst things about migraines is not knowing when they are going to happen. Getting a headache before a midterm, right in the middle of class or during an extracurricular activity can be extremely frustrating. That’s why learning to recognize the factors that set them off is extremely important, and the best way of doing so is with a trigger tracker.

Keeping a trigger tracker is easy; you can use a notebook, a diary or your phone to list anything that was consumed or that happened right before a migraine started.  Have your child note, for example, if they were about to take a test when the headache began, or were in the middle of PE; these are all things worth noting.  Other important things to include on a trigger tracker or migraine diary are any symptoms that your child felt (auras) leading up to the attack, where the pain was located, the weather that day, etc.

Over time, you will be able to connect the dots and identify some of the factors that may cause or worsen your child’s migraines. Learning to recognize these factors can help  prevent future migraines or at least be prepared when it happens.  (Downloadable Migraine Diary & Trigger Tracker)

3. Consider a Nutritional Supplement
There are several prescription drugs that treat migraines but they often come with unwanted side-effects.  Nutritional supplements are a safe and healthy option. Different plant extracts, vitamins, and minerals have been shown to be beneficial for adults and children over the age of two with migraines.  The following three have scientific evidence supporting their effectiveness:

Magnesium – Several studies have shown that migraines may be partly caused by low magnesium levels in the brain, which is why taking a daily magnesium supplement can help prevent these and other types of headaches.  Magnesium has numerous effects that support cerebrovascular (blood vessels in the brain) tone and function. 180 mg per day for children and 360 mg per day for adults is recommended.

Feverfew – The herb feverfew is a plant that belongs to the daisy family and has also been shown to be extremely beneficial for adults and children suffering migraines.  Feverfew has been known to help maintain normal platelet aggregation (avoid clumping together of blood platelets) and reduce or eliminate vasospasms in the brain’s blood vessels. 50 mg per day for children and 100 mg per day for adults is recommended.

Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) – Many migraine sufferers are known to have mitochondrial energy deficiencies before a migraine attack.  The mitochondria are the powerhouses of cells.  Riboflavin at the correct dose helps maintain healthy mitochondrial energy reserves, and has been known to help keep migraines at bay.  200 mg per day for children age 2-12 and 400 mg per day for teens and adults is recommended.

Remember, when it comes to taking dietary supplements, consistency is key for migraine sufferers.  There is a build-up period of up to 3 months where supplements must be taken every day to experience maximum benefits.

4. Make a Plan
Once you’ve been able to identify migraine triggers using a tracker or a diary, plan ahead to avoid a ‘surprise’ attack when possible. During the first few weeks of school, help your child to remove any unnecessary stressors from his or her day to day activities; for example, have your child pack his or her backpack the night before so he or she is not running around in the morning looking for supplies – stressing out early in the morning, or as we mentioned earlier, skipping breakfast, are big migraine triggers.

Also, your child should keep emergency snacks in a bag or backpack  in case of hunger during the day but remember that fatty or sugary foods sometimes trigger headaches. Some quick snacks that are considered “migraine safe” foods include:

  • Plain pretzels
  • Saltines
  • Bread (white, wheat, rye, bagels, etc.)
  • Cereal (except sugary cereals or cereals with nuts or dried fruits)
  • Carrot sticks or other vegetables

5. Reach Out
Suffering from migraines at school can make children feel isolated and different from  peers. Sometimes they may choose to avoid hanging out with friends or skip social events because they are concerned about getting a migraine. Many people who suffer from migraines feel lonely and misunderstood because of their chronic pain.  To fight those feelings of loneliness and frustration, it is important to encourage your child talk about what they are feeling and to reach out to  friends and family members who want to be supportive.

Parents should also talk to the teacher or guidance counselor – more often than not schools offer resources like testing accommodations, screen reading technologies to help  with eye strain, photo-sensitivity, and more.

Remember that there are things you can do to keep migraines from controlling your child’s life, like having your child stick to a good migraine prevention regimen including sticking to a healthy sleep schedule.

To the Best of Health,

The MigreLief Team at Akeso Health Sciences

 

 

 

 

For more health tips, help for migraine headaches, coupons and more, visit MigreLief.com and subscribe to our newsletter!

 

 

Migraine Awareness Week U.K. Sept 1 – 7, 2019

September 1st, 2019

Migraine Awareness Week (MAW) is an annual campaign in the United Kingdom to draw attention to migraine, educate the public, increase understand and reduce stigma. One out of every 7 people suffer migraine. It is an important public health problem in the UK, associated with very substantial costs.  Increased awareness about the effects of migraines results in better outcomes, increased access to migraine care as well as empowerment and validation for those diagnosed.  There are almost 200,000 migraine attacks every day in the U.K. and migraine sufferers lose 25 million days from work or school each year because of them.  Although it is the third most common disease in the world, affecting an estimated one in seven people globally, migraine remains underdiagnosed and undertreated.  For more information and support for migraines and headaches in the U.K., visit the links below.

To get involved with MAW, increase awareness, or join a meetup… visit the Migraine Trust’s Migraine Awareness Week page.

Organizations concerned with migraines and headaches in the U.K.

The Migraine Trust, a charity which supports sufferers, educates healthcare professionals and funds research into migraine and other headaches.

The National Migraine Center, the only national charity in the UK that offers treatment and support for migraine sufferers without the need for a GP referral.

The British Association for the Study of Headache, a national organization focused on raising the profile of headache and its surrounding issues.

OUCH, an organization focused on raising public awareness of Cluster Headaches, and offering support and guidance to sufferers.

The International Headache Society, a world-wide organisation for those with a professional commitment to headache, publishes the international headache journal ‘Cephalalgia.’

Trigeminal Neuralgia Association UK (TNA UK), a charity providing information and support while raising awareness of TN within the medical community and general public.

European Headache Alliance (EHA): Advocating for the rights and needs of the 80 million people in Europe living with a headache disorder.

European Headache Federation (EHF): Improving awareness of headache disorders and their impact among governments, health care providers and consumers across Europe.

To the Best of Health,

The MigreLief Team at Akeso Health Sciences

Help for children's migraines

Avoid Labor Day Migraines – Summer’s Last Hurrah September 2019

August 30th, 2019

 

Summer doesn’t officially end until midnight September 23 but if you are planning to hit the road for one last fun in the sun hurrah, take safety precautions; tell someone where you are going, wear your seat-belt, stay well-hydrated and avoid Labor Day migraines!

Labor Day the first Monday in September, was first celebrated on September 5, 1882.  It is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It is traditionally marked with parades and other celebrations, and is a time for Americans to take a break from their jobs and honor the historic role that the labor movement played in the creation of the middle class, the rise of living standards and the strength of the country.

Labor Day has also come to represent, for most Americans, the symbolic end of summer.  School starts for most students the day after Labor Day Monday, however many schools have switched to resume in late August.  Nevertheless, for many of us, it is the last hurrah to partake in traditional summer activities, lazy beach and picnic outings, camping trips, and travel away from home.

According to AAA, over 35 million Americans traveled at least 50 miles away from home during the 2018 Labor Day weekend and many more are expected to travel this year. Labor Day has also become an important sale weekend for many retailers, many claiming it is second largest sale date only to Christmas season’s Black Friday.  It also marks the beginning of the NFL and college football seasons.  Old school etiquette considers Labor Day the last day of the year when it is fashionable to wear white.  It is believed that this tradition originated long ago, when the high society crowd wore white during their summer vacation getaways and then changed back to dark colors when they returned to the sooty, dusty city.

If you are planning to get out and about, this Labor Day weekend, remember to stay safe and avoid your migraine triggers.   

LABOR DAY SAFETY TIPS:

Labor Day weekend is one of the most dangerous and deadly holidays for traveling, according to the National Highway Traffic Administration
Drive safely and be prepared for any type of emergency.  Always keep a first-aid kit in your vehicle.
Let someone know where you are going, the roads you are taking and when you expect to get there and return.
Wear your seat belts and don’t drink and drive.  Be prepared for sobriety and seat belt checkpoints

STAY WELL HYDRATED: Keep plenty of water on hand.  Keep a bottle of H20 with you if the weather is hot and you will be outdoors for a considerable amount of time.  If plain water doesn’t interest you, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your drink.  If you’re going to be exercising, make sure you drink water before, during and after your workout.  Start and end your day with a glass of water.  When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. The sensation of thirst is often confused with hunger.

Avoid heat related illnesses & heat stroke.  Sweating heavily without replacing enough fluids can lead to dehydration or heat cramps. If the body cannot shed enough heat for any reason, there is a risk of heat exhaustion and, in extreme cases, heat stroke – a medical emergency.  Children are particularly vulnerable to heat-related illnesses, because their bodies do not get rid of heat as efficiently as adults’ do. Make sure you know how to prevent, recognize, and treat heat-related illness.

Heat exhaustion is caused by loss of water and salt, often as a result of exercise in hot weather. If it is not treated, it may progress to heat stroke.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include: Normal or elevated body temperature, although not as high as 40°C (104°F) Profuse sweating – Pale skin – Skin may be cool and moist – Fast, shallow breathing – Fast, weak pulse – Headache – Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea – Dizziness, weakness, or fainting – Heat cramps or Exhaustion.  If you or a child  experience any of these symptoms, move to a shady or air-conditioned area and lie down. Remove extra clothing and sports equipment, if any. Cool down with cold water, fans, or cold towels. If not nauseated or vomiting, drink water, juice, or a sports drink.

 

TIPS TO AVOID END OF SUMMER MIGRAINES

*Drink an 8 ounce glass of water every couple of hours.  If you are out and about, carry water with you throughout the day.

*Bright sunlight can often lead to migraines in photosensitive sufferers so a good pair of polarized sunglasses can really help.*Scents and odors can trigger migraines. Don’t hang around people who smoke and ask those close to you (friends, family, co-workers) to go easy on the cologne of perfume.

*Avoid bright or flickering lights if possible. If you work a lot on a computer use an anti-glare screen/filter.

*Eat healthy snacks every hour or so to prevent drops in blood sugar than can also serve as triggers to migraines.

*Pay attention to prodromal symptoms (symptoms like dizziness, visual or speech impairments) which occur prior to the pain of the migraine striking. Sometimes taking an ibuprofen during this period can prevent the full migraine from occurring.

*Small amounts of caffeine may help with migraine pain, but large amounts will cause more migraines to occur.

*Barometric Pressure Headaches Strategies: Some migraineurs have reported that lying down in a dark room can ward off the pressure headache, but if you are or want to be an outdoor enthusiast, you have to figure out other ways to deal with it.

The good news is that there are gadgets that can help you. If you are one who prefers gadgets over devices and apps, Newspring Power International Company, Ltd. offers a fishing barometer designed to check the barometric pressure at specific locations. The application for migraineurs is that you can set the device for up to six places where you might wish to go for the day, and program it to warn you when a storm is approaching any of those places. If you prefer a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), there are several smart phones and tablets which have barometric sensors with free apps that will send you alarms when pressure reaches the danger zone for you.”

*Avoid stress. If you are preparing a Labor Day picnic or festivity, remember that after a flurry of activity and preparation, when a person finally has a chance to relax, headaches often set in. The beginning of the weekend or a vacation is a common time for migraines to occur. Take it easy, plan in advance, and just agree with yourself or family members that the number one key to everyone enjoying the time is to relax and be unhurried in everything.

*Don’t forget to take your MigreLief (daily formula – Original MigreLief, MigreLief+M, or Children’s MigreLief) twice a day, once in the a.m. and once in the p.m., to keep blood levels of the beneficial ingredients consistent for optimal results.  KEEP MIGRELIEF-NOW  on hand and take as needed for fast-acting on-the-spot nutritional support.
Visit MigreLief.US and enter your zip code in the store locator for a MigreLief retail store near you or visit MigreLief.com.

Have a wonderful and safe, migraine free Labor Day. Enjoy this delicious and eye-catching salad if you are looking for something new to prepare and serve this weekend and keep cool with frozen grapes.

FROZEN GRAPES – The perfect low calorie, naturally sweet summer treat!  These frozen bites always stay icy, but not frozen solid. They must be eaten as soon as they are removed from the freezer before they thaw completely.

1. Wash and dry green or red grapes.
2. Place in sealable plastic bag.
3. Keep in freezer for 2 hours or until frozen.
4. Fill a bowl with several ice cubes and place the bag in the bowl to keep cool while you enjoy!

 

 

Recipes Fruit Infused Water

 

FRUIT INFUSED WATER – Making your own fruit-infused waters is a great alternative to drinking sugary sports drinks and sodas with additives and dyes. Fruit infused water doesn’t really require a specific recipe. You can experiment by making small or large batches and adding as much or as little fruit as you would like to increase flavor and sweetness.  Let your concoction stand for 2 to 8 hours then enjoy!  Popular fruits:  raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, mango, pineapple, oranges, lemons, limes, and cucumbers.Popular herbs:  mint, basil and rosemary.  Slice strawberries but keep other berries whole and press lightly with a spoon to release some of the flavors.  Add your favorite ingredients to a 1/2 gallon pitcher of water, cover and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.  Or make by the glass.To jazz it up a bit, make your own fruit infused water.

 

FNM_7LayerPastaSalad_048.tif7-layer Salad

Ingredients:
Salt
8 ounces farfalle (about 4 cups)
2 stalks broccoli, cut into florets
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Juice of 1 lime
Freshly ground pepper
2 avocados, diced
1 12-ounce piece deli ham, diced (about 2 cups) –or substitute with chicken, turkey or garbanzo beans
8 ounces yellow cheddar cheese, shredded
1 small head romaine lettuce, sliced
2 tomatoes, diced

 
Directions:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (about 2 minutes less than the label directs), adding the broccoli during the last 4 minutes of cooking. Drain the pasta and broccoli and rinse under cool water; shake off the excess. Remove the broccoli and pat dry.Whisk the mayonnaise, buttermilk, 1/4 cup chives, the parsley, half of the lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Toss the pasta and a few tablespoons of the dressing in a medium bowl.Assemble the salad: Toss the avocados with the remaining lime juice in a large glass serving bowl and season with salt; arrange in an even layer. Top with layers of the ham, broccoli, pasta, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. Drizzle some of the remaining dressing on top and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon chives, or cover and refrigerate the salad and dressing separately up to 6 hours.  Bring to room temperature before serving.  (Recipe from Food Network)

Enjoy!

 

LABOR DAY COUPONHOLIDAY SAVINGS!
20% OFF Akeso Products:

MigreLief or Any AKESO ‘Condition Specific Supplements’

Labor Day/September 2019 Online Coupon Code:  SALE20
Redeemable at MIGRELIEF.com
Enter coupon code at checkout: MigreLief.com or call 1-800-758-8746 Monday-Friday.
One per customer. May not combine offers.

 

MigreLief Daily Maintenance Formulas (Original, Children’s and Menstrual Migraine) PLUS MigreLief-NOW “As-Needed” Formula have been recommended by neurologists and headache specialists for over 2 decades.

 

 

Ocular Migraine vs. Visual Migraine — What is the Difference?

August 20th, 2019

Not all migraine sufferers experience the head pain commonly associated with migraine attacks. Some people experience a type of silent migraine with visual disturbance but no head pain. “Ocular migraine” also known as “retinal migraine” is often confused with “visual migraine” which is a symptom of visual changes or vision loss resulting from the aura phase of the common migraine.

However, for people who experience ocular migraines the visual changes are a little different and can be very frightening as they most often include temporary vision loss that can last up to an hour. Both ocular migraines and visual migraines can occur with or without a headache.

Ocular Migraine vs. Visual Migraine

Ocular or retinal migraines happen in the eye, so only affect the vision in that eye, while visual migraines occur in the brain, so affect the vision in both eyes together.
  

Visual Migraine or Migraine with Aura

  • · A typical migraine accompanied by aura (a variety of visual sensations like a kaleidoscope, zig zag lines and blind spots that often warn that the pain is on the way)
  • · Visual disturbances usually affect both eyes
  • · Aura usually occurs before the migraine head pain attack
  • · Condition isn’t serious but can make it difficult to function and complete tasks

  

Ocular or Retinal Migraine (sometimes referred to as eye migraine or ophthalmic migraine)

  • · Typically occur in one eye and affects vision when a blood vessel in the eye spasms, resulting in a lack of blood flow.
  • · Typically include a flickering blind spot or black spot near the center of your field of vision which gradually gets bigger causing vision loss
  • · Vision loss typically lasts 30 minutes (range is 10 min to 1 hour)
  • · Usually not accompanied by a headache

Temporary Vision Loss

People experiencing ocular/retinal migraines will see a pattern of black spots called “scotomas.” These black spots gradually get bigger and cause complete loss of vision. Other people will partially lose vision in one eye. This is usually characterized by blurry, dim vision or twinkling lights called “scintillations.” Vision loss is temporary and restores in under an hour.

What causes ocular/retinal migraines? Ocular migraines occur when the blood vessels to the eyes start to constrict, or narrow. This reduces the blood flow to one of your eyes. When the migraine ends, the blood vessels relax and open up, allowing blood flow to resume and vision is restored.

Ocular migraines are believed to have the same causes or triggers as regular migraines. These triggers may include:

  • Migraine Triggers· Lack of Sleep
  • · Stress or hypertension
  • · Perfumes and strong odors
  • · Bright or flickering lights
  • · Foods containing nitrates such as hot dogs and other processed meats.
  • · Foods additives such as tyramine or MSG
  • · Caffeine
  • · Chocolate
  • · Tobacco use or cigarette smoke
  • · Artificial Sweeteners
  • · Dehydration
  • · Low blood sugar
  • · Being in higher altitudes

  
Migraine headaches have a genetic basis, and some studies say that up to 70 percent of migraine sufferers have a family history of migraine headaches. If one parent has a migraine, there is a 50% chance of a child having it to. If both parents have migraine, a the chance of a children also experiencing migraine increases to 75%.

According to the World Health Organization, migraine headaches appear to be triggered by activation of a mechanism deep in the brain, which releases inflammatory substances around nerves and blood vessels in the head and brain. Imaging studies have shown changes in blood flow to the brain during ocular migraines and migraine auras. But why this happens and what brings about the spontaneous resolution of ocular migraines and visual migraines remain unknown.
  

NOTE: Temporary vision loss caused by ocular or retinal migraines, like migraine with aura is relatively minor however, you should always check with your doctor first to be properly diagnosed and rule out other serious health issues.
  
DIAGNOSIS: There are no diagnostic tests to confirm retinal migraine. Diagnosis is accomplished by reviewing the patient’s personal and family medical history, studying their symptoms, and doing an examination. Retinal migraine is then diagnosed by ruling out other causes for the symptoms. With retinal migraine, it is essential that other causes of transient blindness, such as stroke of the eye (amaurosis fugax), be fully investigated and ruled out. Seeing an ophthalmologist for a full eye exam is generally required for a good look at the back of the eyes.

  

KEEP A MIGRAINE DIARY & TRIGGER TRACKER

Keeping a migraine journal/diary to help uncover and track your migraine triggers can help you understand and avoid those triggers. Popular triggers include, lack of sleep, dehydration, changes in weather (barometric pressure), eating certain processed foods like aged cheese, MSG containing foods, bright lights from computer screens/television, stress and even strenuous exercise. Avoiding your triggers once discovered, can go long way towards migraine prevention. (FREE MIGRAINE DIARY & TRIGGER TRACKER – Click Here)

MigreLief Migraine Supplements

“SAVE 20” for 20% off MigreLief when purchased at MigreLief.com

MIGRAINE SUFFERERS SHOULD NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF NUTRITION:

Optimizing nutritional status through supplementation is very beneficial. The dietary supplement Migrelief, both daily and as-needed formulas, provide nutritional ingredients proven to be beneficial when it comes to maintaining healthy cerebrovascular tone and function (blood vessels in the brain) and maintaining healthy mitochondrial energy reserves (the powerhouses of brain cells).

 

AUGUST BRINGS RISING TEMPERATURES & MIGRAINES – Hot Tips to Stay Cool & Migraine Free

August 10th, 2019

step-into-the-light-summer1There are several weeks of summertime left to enjoy so don’t get stuck in the dark riding out a migraine or headache. August brings extreme heat but also a last chance to plan summer activities and vacations. As schedules change, and temperatures rise so do migraine triggers such as barometric pressure, disrupted sleep patterns, stress and dehydration. Some triggers you can control or avoid and some you can not. There are many things you can do to ease through August if you are a migraine sufferer.
KEEP  FAST-ACTING MIGRELIEF-NOW ON HAND AT ALL TIMES.MigreLief-NOW New bottle FINAL
First of all, for those times when you need help most, keep MigreLief-NOW close by so you can take 2-4 capsules at the first sign of discomfort.  (For children’s dosages age 2-12, see back of bottle).  Keep “NOW” in your car, purse, or suitcase for emergencies if you leave town or are merely on the go.  And for those of you who are back to work or off to school already, keep MigreLief-NOW at your office, or in your school backpack.  Remember, MigreLief-NOW is different than the  daily maintenance formulas… It is an on-the-spot dietary supplement taken “as needed” to provide immediate nutritional support when you need it most… NOW!  (Migraine Formulas-Overview Pdf)

As summer shifts toward fall, for many, August is not a time to grab a last minute vacation but rather a time to endure the extreme heat. The majority of the U.S. suffers hot, sticky August nights and while it’s great for the crops heading toward early harvest, sleeping can be particularly uncomfortable and trouble for migraineurs.

While a lot of people have central air to mitigate the heat, many people have either inadequate air conditioning or none at all.  For several areas of the U.S., August is a rainy season fraught with extremely uncomfortable levels of humidity.  At 90 degrees, anything over 70% humidity is considered extremely uncomfortable and can be deadly for asthmatics.  For those sensitive to barometric-pressure change migraines, the rising and falling humidity of August can make one feel as though they are on a migraine roller-coaster. Migraineurs often feel in August that, around the clock, they either have a migraine or are anticipating one at any moment.

Headache Prevention for Outdoor Enthusiasts
As a basic outdoor strategy, be sure to wear dark sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat. Also, staying hydrated is key to avoiding light and heat related headaches. Humidity is really tough to control out of doors, but following some of the suggestions made in preventing barometric pressure and altitude headaches is good general advice for those who will be out in the humidity as well.

The barometer drops rapidly just before a storm, and your blood vessels may react to that, trying to equalize the pressure.   Many sufferers recognize this fact and even find themselves watching the weather channel to know when to anticipate a summer storm migraine.

Strategies for barometric pressure headaches
Some migraineurs have reported that lying down in a dark room can ward off the pressure headache, but if you are or want to be an outdoor enthusiast, you have to figure out other ways to deal with it.  The good news is there are gadgets that can help you. If you are one who prefers gadgets over devices and apps, Newspring  Power International Company, Ltd. offers a fishing barometer designed to check the barometric pressure at specific locations.

The application for migraineurs is that you can set the device for up to six places where you might wish to go for the day, and program it to warn you when a storm is approaching any of those places. If you prefer a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), there are several smart phones and tablets which have barometric sensors with free apps that will send you alarms when pressure reaches the danger zone for you.

Other remedies:

A de-humidifier can mitigate some of the indoor humidity. Also, keep blinds drawn to keep the house cooler.

Keep from exerting yourself as much as possible, especially out of doors, and plan your shopping-musts around the cooler parts of the day.

Cook smart – use your microwave instead of the stove, prepare cool, summer meals involving salads and yogurt products. Don’t succumb to fast foods or snack foods, but have on hand foods that you can put together quickly.

If you sleep under a fan, avoid colds, sinus problems, neck pain that can trigger migraines by covering your neck as you sleep. Keep a towel or light, children’s blanket just for draping over your neck while you sleep.

If you feel yourself getting overheated, wet your skin and lie down in front of or underneath a fan. Putting off your shower till the heat of the afternoon is a good idea for refreshing yourself.  Of course one nice idea is simply getting away to cooler climates in August.

MORE HOT TIPS TO STAY COOL!

  • – Soak a t-shirt in the sink in cool water (not cold or chilled water), wring it out, put it on and sit in the shade or in front of a fan. (You may want to save this one for when you’re alone, unless you’re going for that ‘wet t-shirt’ contest!)
  • – Fill a plastic spray bottle with water and freeze over night. You will have a cool mist that lasts for hours.
  • – Soak your feet in cold water. The body radiates heat from the hands, feet, face and ears, so cooling any of these will naturally cool the body.
  • – Wear light colors darker colors will absorb the sun’s rays and be warmer than light or white clothing, which reflects light and heat.
  • – Minty fresh use mint scented or menthol lotions and soaps to cool your skin.
  • – More alcohol just the rubbing alcohol please! Put some rubbing alcohol on a damp washcloth and hold it on the back of your neck and sit near a fan. The evaporative effect can feel 30 degrees cooler.

FROZEN GRAPES:  To stay cool, try this naturally sweet frozen treat. 

These frozen bites always stay icy, but not frozen solid. They must be eaten as soon as they are removed from the freezer before they thaw completely.

1. Wash and dry green or red grapes.
2. Place in sealable plastic bag.
3. Keep in freezer for 2 hours or until frozen.
4. Fill a bowl with several ice cubes and place the bag in the bowl to keep cool while you enjoy!

Again, remember to keep MigreLief-NOW on hand in times of trouble and take 2-4 capsules at the first sign of discomfort.  Children between the age of 2-12, should take exactly 1/2 the adult dose.
Enjoy the remainder of your summer and stay cool!

Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.

 

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